Elizabeth Wanielista–change is a constant!

The John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business this year was awarded to Elizabeth Wanielista.

On October 19, 2015, she attended the 27th Annual Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) Conference in Clearwater Beach, FL.

The benefits derived from this endowed chair were information on the skills needed by medical office employees to obtain employment in medical offices. Students need to be able to apply knowledge of computers but also have soft skills as: proper telephone techniques, compassion, helping attitude, and discretion regarding patient information. Also, noted was the fact that transcription is no longer used in medical offices. The use of Electronic Health Records is becoming mandatory in medical offices, so employees will need to have knowledge of how to input these records.

This information was shared with the other Office & Medical Office Administration faculty. Her attending the PAHCOM Conference and meeting with office managers regarding skills needed for medical office employees were obtained as a result of this endowed chair. Students will benefit from the information received from the conference by the information obtained from medical office managers. The information on the skills needed for medical office employees will be used to update the Medical Office Administration Program.

The ability to have contact with employees working in the field gave her first-hand knowledge. Office Managers are very busy and hard to reach when in their regular work environment. Having been with them for three days gave her the opportunity to ask questions of many different managers regarding the skills needed for medical office employees.

“I have attempted to make contact with local medical office managers which resulted in three face-to-face meetings. I have sent out many emails and made many calls to local office managers with not many results. My attending the Medical Office Manager Conference in October gave me more contacts.

“The medical office is changing as a result of technology and HIPAA laws, so it is important to keep in contact with local managers in order to update our program.”

Check out our earlier piece: http://bit.ly/2lUUoXu

Andrew Ray: a visit to China

Andrew Ray, traveling to make life better at home. 1m3a0100-%281024x683%29-2

Andrew Ray took his Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Programs and went on walk-about this summer. He took two students and combined them with a business program to China in July, to take a look at how China is exploring renewable energy.

Originally, they were going to Germany, but that became an impossibility, so instead of calling it quits, Ray changed his plans, and took his students to China, where just a few years previously, the Chinese—known for renewable energy in the runup to the Beijing Olympics—had blossomed with solar.

In the lead-up to the Beijing trip, they started with a trip to the UCF campus in Cocoa to look at renewable energy.

Once in China, they looked at solar, thermal, and some wind. They looked at wind energy being produced in the Gobi Desert, as well as work being done in Beijing and Shanghai. They also attended lectures at Polytechnic of Shanghai. They also discovered that the air quality is worse in Beijing (despite the cleanliness of the air at the Beijing Olympics!)

China is leading the world in manufacturing solar panels and ranks second in solar energy production, and are by far the leader in wind power. They have also been leading the movement to robotic construction technologies, and 3D printing of buildings. Despite this, they also have a leading role in pollution—a problem still to be solved!

 

James Inglis–going where no man has gone before

img_0164-1

James Inglis, Program Director Hospitality/Restaurant Management, used this year’s Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management to fund his visit—and the visits of 12 students—to the National Hotel show in Chicago this year.

“Attending the national show is amazing: all the new technology, educational seminars and product demo’s are very informative. I gain by keeping up with the latest industry trends and products and the students also gain in the same way.”

It really opens students’ eyes to the current state of the industry and what the future holds, which is very bright, continues Inglis.

One of Inglis’s favorite cooking demos was Chef Rick Bayless, who showed the attendees how to make several basic marinades to keep on hand, and what to use them on.

It wasn’t all fun and games, of course. There were also business-oriented workshops on things like overtime laws, and how to motivate entry- and line-level employees.

They saw a demo on sustainability and how to purchase products within a 50 mile radius oimg_0106-1f your location.

Lots of new product demos were going on during the show, and the new img_0168-1technology of tablets and new ordering systems being introduced into the quick service and fast casual dining segments.

They even saw a robot cooking food. No word on the improvements to dining at the space station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Cunningham, professor of English as a second language: language as art

The idea for Steven Cunningham’s endowed chair project to bring Brazilian artist Clovis Junior to work with students inimg_4494 an elementary school was inspired by Cunningham’s campus president, Dr. Kathleen Plinske. Dr. Plinske forged a partnership between the Osceola Campus and Central Avenue Elementary School about two years ago when she was asked if Valencia could send some students to volunteer as tutors. “We were told that the biggest need of the elementary school students was just to have someone who cares about them. As a professor of English as a Second Language, I was aware that Central Avenue had many students from many different cultures who did not speak English as their native language. I thought, what better way to boost self-esteem than to connect them to a successful artist from another country? At the same time, we could stimulate creativity and provide affirmation of the wonderful diversity in their classrooms.”

When he contacted the school to see if they would be interested in the project, they were very interested and informed him that this particular elementary school just had its art program reinstated that year! Cunningham sent the art teacher some information on the artist and his art.

When they aimg_4482rrived on the appointed day, one of the students couldn’t hold in his excitement and shouted, “It’s the famous artist from Brazil!” Clovis worked with five different art classes throughout the day. First, he talked about his art and taught the kids a few phrases in Portuguese. Then the students created their own paintings as he did a demonstration painting that he left with the school as a keepsake of his visit.

They had each student sign their painting. Clovis signed them too animg_4445d had a picture taken with each student who had a signed photo release. One pupil asked me where she should sign her painting. “I told her, “You are the artist. You can sign it wherever you want.” She responded, “I’m an ARTIST?!?””

It was a very successful project and a fulfilling and rewarding day. “I felt like we had really captured the true intention of the Tupperware Corporation Endowed Chair in Community Quality by investing in the students at Central Avenue Elementary School and making them feel proud of themselves”.”

Andrew Ray, program chair AS built environment programs

1M3A0100 %281024x683%29 (2)Professor Ray is using the Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Program for study abroad scholarships.

The Hubbard Construction Chair supports educational programs in building construction, drafting and design, land surveying, and other technology areas. These funds will provide scholarships to allow students in the above programs to participate in a study abroad trip to visit renewable energy facilities in China during summer, 2016. Professor Ray also plan to escort students to Germany/Switzerland in 2016, but the opportunity arose to join Jennifer Robertson’s business students on a 10 day trip to Beijing and Shanghai in July, 2016, to see renewable energy production and accelerated/automated construction techniques.

 “My personal interest in sustainable energy production, including solar, wind and geo-thermal power, spans almost 40 years; the thesis for my Master of Architecture involved creating software and graphics to analyze energy usage in historic buildings.”

The sabbatical Professor Ray completed during fall semester, 2015, included visits to all cities along the path of the proposed trip that Professor Deymond Hoyte and he plan to lead in summer, 2017. “This ‘dry-run’ allowed me to research each site, obtain tourist maps and be able to provide background information to students before and during the study abroad trip.”

The sabbatical itinerary through 29 countries also included visits to a solar plant east of Berlin, geothermal springs and sustainable indoor greenhouses in Iceland, as well as many stops to document various solar and wind power facilities wherever accessible.

Pre-trip meetings with students will focus on popular forms of renewable energy (photovoltaic and thermal solar, wind, geo-thermal, and biofuels), the sociopolitical support of renewables by some governments within the European Union and China, with background on the specific sites they will visit. This will also include an introduction to the culture and people of China for the 2016 trip, and Germany and Switzerland for 2017, and basic language phrases. Since the trip will include students in Built Environment programs and also students taking business courses at Valencia, the cross-discipline approach should foster unique perspectives and discussions. Assessments will include journals and reflection papers on the projects visited and insight gained from the cultural experience.

Study abroad experiences are life-changing for students, opening them to global perspectives, and providing insight into alternate solutions to systemic issues. Most students in the Built Environment program have previously undertaken research on issues related to sustainability, completing an oral presentation on a “green” topic to their classmates. Report topics include the alternate power generation methods and current construction practices featured on this trip, but also include garden roofs; this is the major amenity of an apartment building they will visit in Darmstadt with the students. In addition, students will be exposed to state-of-the-art technologies used in China and Europe, as well as traditional construction techniques predating anything built in the USA.

Professor Ray has been involved in the Central Florida design and construction community for many years. After graduating with a Master’s in Architecture from Texas A&M, he moved to Fort Myers, FL, and was involved with historic preservation and commercial projects while completing his internship. Upon becoming a registered architect, he moved his family to Orlando in 1990, founded Array Design and started teaching at Valencia in 1991. A past president of the local chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, and former Construction Manager with Habitat for Humanity, Mr. Ray enjoys travel and learning about construction. His wife, Alison, is also an architect, and they have two sons, Alex and Tony.

 

Valencia nursing is extraordinary

First-time exam takers from Valencia College taking the recent round of the NCLEX-RN® (the National Council Licensure Examination) scored big.

4th quarter: 10/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 100%

That’s right – 100%.

“In each course throughout the nursing program, students are given standardized exams which are nationally normed. These standardized exams prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN® (the National Council Licensure Examination).”

The standardized exams also allow the faculty to evaluate whether the Nursing Program Outcomes have been met.  After the students graduate, they then take the NCLEX-RN, which is the national licensure exam that all nursing graduates take to become licensed as an RN,” says Anita Kovalsky RN, MNEd, CNE, Valencia’s Clinical Nursing program director.

Passing this exam reflects that the new RN is able to give safe and effective care to patients, as well as function as an entry-Level RN at the patient’s bedside.

And while not to take away from that 100%, the nursing program’s year to date numbers are remarkable as well: 01/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 95.2%

 To compare, statewide,

STATE OF FLORIDA – pass-rates

Year to date: 01/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 72.02%

 

While across the nation,

NATIONAL – pass-rates

Year to date: 01/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 84.51%

 

Congratulations to the students and teachers of Valencia College’s nursing program!

Pamela Sandy, professor of dental hygiene

Another in our series on the endowed chairs.

Pam 2015Pamela Sandy, RDH, BS, MA, professor of dental hygiene and dental hygiene program chair, is using this year’s Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health grant to revitalize the curriculum and calibrate faculty in the dental hygiene program.

Ms. Sandy participated in the Academy for Academic Leadership’s Institute for Allied Dental Educators with the goal of acquiring the skills of a master educator with the ADEA/AAL Institute for Allied Health Educators. The program is a series of five live online ninety minute sessions, and was attended by  Valencia full-time faculty Robin Poole and Rebekah Pittman;  Valencia adjunct faculty Natasha Cook and Danielle Driscoll;  and Valencia senior lab manager, Tiffany Baggs.

The series she selected was titled “Revitalizing Curriculum and Calibrating Faculty,” which included faculty calibration, creating a flipped classroom, designing hybrid courses, curriculum design, and management.

The AAL goals for this class included

  • Creating a flipped classroom: giving an overview of the flipped classroom, identifying advantages and role of faculty as facilitators and applying the concepts by combining the basic sciences with clinical care, including utilization of evidence-based learning, cases and reflective exercises.
  • Curriculum design and management, discussing curriculum mapping and how mapping relates to student assessment, and comparing curriculum mapping and course sequencing for optimal student success.
  • And, finally, faculty motivation, including team-building and applying motivational techniques to better engage peers in an effort to motivate fellow faculty.

In addition, one of her goals—and two of the goals for the class—was to explore other methods for faculty calibration FDHA 2012(calibration is faculty being on the same “page” during clinical evaluation of students; it is developing and adhering to a set of guidelines for student evaluation) in the clinical setting and to assist faculty in designing hybrid courses which will keep the dental hygiene curriculum current. To that end, two faculty completed another course in community dental health to refresh their skills in teaching the course and to enhance course content.

 Dental hygiene student learning can be positively impacted by faculty who are skilled at using the flipped classroom concept and are competent in designing learning activities in an online environment.”

Most of the faculty have been using the flipped classroom concept for several years, and the course gave them some additional ideas for technologies and learning activities they could use in their classes.

In all, the sessions drove the instructors’ learning and impact on the classroom immensely. “It was,” says Ms. Sandy, “a very successful session.”

 

 

 

Michael Robbins, professor of English

Michael Robbins, tenured professor of English composition, is using the Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment of English-Speaking Union Chair in English and Humanities to investigate shifting Valencia’s approach to ENC1102 (Composition II) to a critical thinking and argumentation course. He says “We currently focus on using literature to teach research method in Composition II; this does not align well with other college and university programs, nor do I think it allows us to better teach higher level analytical skills to students.” His goal is to develop a model for Composition II using critical thinking and argumentation course work. He continues, “It is my hope that this will assist in better teaching students how to foster more accepting attitudes of diverse views and perspectives.”

“As a faculty member, I would like to better learn how to integrate both critical thinking skills into the learning objectives for Composition II. Specifically, I’d like to develop my ability to explain what critical thinking entails to the student, but most importantly how to efficiently practice critical thinking—that is, to move away from what Gerald Nosich [professor at Buffalo State, member of ‘the critical thinking community’] describes as black-and-white thinking, and get the student engaged in the practice of synthesizing and accepting multiple views, and analyzing what those views mean.”

He will assess the project by comparing a baseline Composition II course (literature-based) with a Composition II course that utilizes course material focused on critical thinking and argumentation (specifically, he will use Gerald Nosich’s book Learning to Think Things Through and Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say).

The objective will be to collect qualitative data from student essays, assessing whether the material reflects critical thinking skills (such as establishing personal views, valuing alternate views, and basing views on researched material). “I will compare this to what I am able to learn by attending the Thirty-fifth International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform.

“In ENC1102, students are required to demonstrate the following skills: Information Literacy, Critical Thinking, and Written Communication. My ability to better teach critical thinking skills, as well as our use of course material focused on critical thinking and synthesizing alternate views, will be clearly focused on both Critical Thinking and Information Literacy. The students will be able to better articulate their own views, as well as synthesize the views of others.”

Professor Robbins teaches at the Osceola campus.

Richard Sansone—professor of Portuguese and EAP

IMG_6836Richard Sansone, professor of Portuguese and EAP (English for Academic Purposes), is the recipient of this year’s Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies. He is using this grant to fund a Service Learning Project “bridging disciplines, institutions and cultures.”

“This endowed chair enables future grant development/cultural exchange while implementing an intensive English/American culture course for teachers at the Federal University in Diamantina, Brazil (UFVJM).” Strengthening relations, it led to a proposal for 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s initiative to create greater academic synergy.

“Our work with the team to develop ideas for a grant both at the UFVJM and at Valencia was extremely fruitful even though it was determined that the 100,000 Strong grant opportunity was not an ideal fit. The process of developing the contacts, resources, and project ideas, however, enabled both Valencia’s resource development team and our partners at the UFVJM to develop targets and make a working plan to help accomplish those goals. These include these searching for the grant opportunities both within and beyond the college.” Both institutions benefit through the professional development it provides, and the grant proposal and student/faculty exchanges it facilitates.

Among his goals: “Through the cultural and linguistic immersion that this experience will provide me, I will update my skills in terms of contemporary Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. Languages are alive and constantly evolving and need to be revisited to ensure that as educators we provide students with the most current information.”

Through this endowed chair, Sansone’s intention is that Valencia students will have expanded opportunities for deepening language/cultural skills through both study abroad and interaction with Brazilian students the grant will bring to Valencia, “thus building pathways of understanding.”

“The intensive English/American culture course that we were able to offer at the UFVJM was so enthusiastically wellIMG_6824 received that the enrollment filled to overflowing in three days. Additionally the UFVJM has requested we return for July 2016 and would like to add a third professor/3rd level of English language instruction to broaden the course offerings. The impact that our course had both on future English professors and on our colleagues at the University was extremely positive, productive, and nurturing to our very good relations both personally and academically.”

Finally, Professor Sansone says, “I cannot express strongly enough deep gratitude I feel toward Valencia Foundation for the support of this extremely worthwhile project which enabled me and Professor Steve Cunningham to travel to Brazil to work with future professors of English at the UF V JM, an area which is historically and culturally rich but impoverished in terms of resources and economy.”

Professor Sansone works at the west campus.

Richard Gair, professor of Holocaust studies and reading

Rich_smallRichard Gair used his Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah this year to travel to Poland, an important part of his Holocaust studies.

The title for his project is “Discovering Fragments of Jewish Life in Poland,” and it was Professor Gair’s intent to spend nearly three weeks in that country, spending his time talking with local historians, officials and museum staff.

“I also toured four Nazi death camps, studying and photographing them,” Professor Gair says. The towns on his travel agenda were Lodz, Chmielnik, Auschwitz, Rzeszow and Lublin. “In each location I made day trips to the sites and smaller villages.” Moreover, he explored the archives in places like Auschwitz.

The purpose of his stay? To visit, study and photograph key sites of Nazi persecution, ghettos and Nazi death camps, and to study and photograph fragments of Jewish life that once existed in Poland to deepen his understanding of that time. He also planned to examine the archives and exhibits at Auschwitz-Birkeneau to enhance his teaching and to help him plan future study abroad trips to the camps.RichardGair

He met with local historians to learn first-hand about the lives of Jews in the towns, and—perhaps most importantly, he deepened his scholarship to enrich all his Holocaust knowledge and teaching. The trip added a new perspective to what he understands about Jewish life in Poland then. It will also help him to add new components to future study abroad trips he leads.

As Professor Gair visits these places, he’ll be adding a wealth of new knowledge and experience to his professional background as a Holocaust educator and representative for Valencia in his role as a member of the Florida State Task Force on Holocaust Education. The photographs, videos and knowledge will all be infused into his classroom teaching of his Holocaust course, as well as his annual Holocaust study abroad trip.

Students have told me that when I can integrate my own experiences visiting, studying at the sites we study, it adds a level of authenticity to my teaching,” Gair says.  The pictures and videos from the trip will be shared in class, along with interviews he conducts with a historian or others. “By showing students the remnants of Jewish life, as small as they may be, they will further appreciate the magnitude of the Holocaust and its effect on a culture that has vanished.”

Videos from his trip can be found at https://vimeo.com/album/3516403

Julie Phelps, professor of mathematics

picture“Today, there are many free online resources that can be used to enhance students’ learning.

Unfortunately, these materials are not all created equal! The goal of this project is to provide our students with the technology tools needed to create student-led tutorials that support Valencia College algebra content. Engaging in this activity helps students see the relevance (usefulness) or importance of what they are learning.”

Julie Phelps, professor of mathematics, is using the Raymer F. Maguire, Jr., teaching chair to combine the three strategies that she is currently using to assist the front-door (first year) mathematics students while bringing down the cost of textbooks.

First, Valencia East campus math faculty created an on-demand website called math help 24/7. “A student created on-demand tutorial would be a perfect addition. This project would help to obtain the necessary technology for student-created tutorials. Also, I am currently using a Valencia faculty-written free online textbook. These resources could help faculty create interactive worksheets to support the free online textbook. Last, I would like to create an online lesson that connects to the psychological interventions (i.e. mindset and utility value) designed to increase student performance and interest in mathematics,” adds Professor Phelps.

The student-led tutorial serves a dual purpose. First, in the term the student creates the tutorial, this video will serve as an alternate assessment to a pencil/paper test on the same topic or unit. Second, if the student-created video is a high quality video, then the video will be a permanent addition the online tutorials already online for all future students taking the course.  “While I was describing this project to the current students, the idea that they could put on their resume that they contributed to Valencia College online tutorial resources and they can share the link, was tremendously exciting.”

Professor Phelps will design a lesson that requires each student to “teach” an algebraic topic. These lessons will be graded, and if they are sound in theory, the student-led tutorial will be included as a supplement to the textbook for future students to use.

She will also create tutorials to demonstrate how other faculty can use these resources to create interactive worksheets which will recruit front-door educators who can implement these interventions.

And finally, she will assess her psychological online intervention learning outcomes by collaborating with an external researcher regarding the best delivery of these interventions to students.

Valencia algebra courses have a course outcome which requires the “use of technology tools” and a course outcome calling for the “use of applications emphasizing connections with other disciplines and with the real world.”

Additionally, Think, Valencia’s core competency, is defined as “thinking critically, and creatively, analyzing, synthesizing, integrating and evaluating.” This competency explains the level necessary to design a math content tutorial. The potential of motivating students to teach content using technology is great way to assess student learning while inspiring them to contribute to our academic digital community. The opportunity to influence student outcomes (i.e. decreasing course drop rates, increasing math interest, and increasing gateway mathematics course success rates) by implementing the psychological interventions will provide students with potentially life-changing attitudes.

 Professor Phelps holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, a master’s degree from UCF, and a doctorate, also from UCF.

 

See also this blog post from December 2, discussing the group project: http://bit.ly/1T1W63z

 

 

Deborah Howard, professor of mathematics

D HowardAnother in our series of endowed chairs.

Deborah Howard, professor of mathematics, is using her Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics to remove “barriers to success using mindset interventions.”

She says “Student success in gateway mathematics courses depends as much on attitudes and beliefs as it does on content knowledge. Many students believe that they are either inherently good or bad at math. Many claim they have had negative experiences with math by expressing two statements: ‘Math is useless in my life,’ and ‘I can’t do math.’”

She believes that implementing social-psychological interventions can empower students to overcome these barriers.

Professor Howard’s goal with the award is to build connections with external researchers with expertise in psychological interventions (i.e. mindset and utility value), so she can learn how to best train gateway math faculty to apply these interventions with Valencia’s gateway math students.

“Mindset research by Carol Dweck has found that by teaching people that the brain’s ability to grow and adapt—like a muscle—means that you can actually train it to improve intelligence and skill. This research has resulted in increased performance among students and closing of achievement gaps between race and ethnicity. Additionally, Chris Hulleman and his colleagues (Utility Value Study) have found that when students are asked to reflect on the usefulness of their class material, it actually increases their performance and interest in the course.”

She plans to bring in external researchers to work with her and other front door mathematics educators to learn together about how to make use of these strategies at Valencia. The researcher will work with Valencia’s team by collecting data, creating a continuous implement cycle on how and when they should deliver these interventions.

The opportunity to influence student outcomes (i.e. decreasing course drop rates, increasing math interest, and increasing gateway mathematics course success rates) through the researcher-practitioner collaboration will be the highlight of this project. “The mindset and utility value interventions will provide us with the opportunity to facilitate potentially life-changing psychological interventions for our Valencia front-door mathematics students. For me, the potential to help Valencia College mathematics students with the opportunity to overcome past academic / psychological barriers is the first step forward in their academic and life pursuits.”

Ms. Howard was born in Sanford, Florida, and received her MS in Mathematical Sciences from UCF. Married to Vince Howard, she has two daughters. She has been with Valencia’s math faculty since 1994. She teaches at the east campus.

 

For more information on the group grant, see also http://bit.ly/1T1W63z (Valencia college’s blog post on the grant itself.)

Christy Cheney—professor of student life skills and Jocelyn Morales—counselor

Christy Cheney and Jocelyn Morales are using their University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities to defray the costs of study abroad for students (and counselors) in The Uncommon Scholar: REACH Study Abroad 2016 – Italy program.

The REACH (Reaching Each Academic Challenge Head On) program is a cohort-based learning community at the Osceola campus designed to support and guide students through their first 21 college credit hours. Students are nominated by their high school counselors because they demonstrate the work ethic and desire to succeed in academics, but require college readiness skills and support to begin their college career. Most REACH students question if college is right for them and are typically the first in their families to pursue a college degree.

“While certainly many of our students face financial challenges in earning a college degree, a study abroad experience benefits REACH students on a greater level as they have not only had to overcome financial barriers, but also academic obstacles, as well,” says Professor Cheney. Through integrated lessons, co-curricular programs, and fundraising for the Osceola community, students build strong connections with faculty, classmates, and the learning support service providers to help them succeed in college.

The REACH experience continues to be an invaluable opportunity for students who didn’t think college was an option for them. The Valencia Foundation Board will provide students with additional scholarship funds to experience globalized learning through a study abroad program to Italy in 2016 with an experienced Counselor to provide strategies to address personal challenges and support throughout the study abroad program.

We will provide REACH students with the opportunity to experience globalized learning through the study abroad program to Italy in July, 2016. Through Service Learning or Humanities, students will earn college credit while immersing themselves in the rich cultural contributions of Italy.

The vast majority of REACH students are the first in their family to attend college, and are on financial aid with minimal exposure to life outside of Osceola County. An opportunity to travel abroad is a dream that seems unattainable due to financial challenges, as well as having the experience to be away from their families. The endowed chair will fund additional scholarship dollars to support financial need as well as support a Valencia counselor to assist students in adjusting and acclimating to the global experience.

Prior to traveling, REACH students and the traveling counselor will participate in required meetings to discuss expectations and concerns, and learn about how to transition to the culture/country of Italy. Students will reflect through journal writing to share pre-departure plans on preparing for their trip as well as throughout their trip. Through journal reflections, students will be able to express their excitement, fears and new experiences with the support of the SLS and counselor. Faculty will participate in on going open-discussions before, during and after the study abroad experience to ensure full support and guidance for all REACH students.

Professor Cheney teaches the New Student Experience course. She says “I will have built strong connections and relationships with REACH students in the fall of 2015; therefore, my role in addition to Jocelyn’s role will help students to successfully adjust and study abroad.”

Professor Cheney teaches at the Osceola campus. She has worked with REACH students since 2010.

Ms. Morales teaches at the east campus, where she has worked with REACH students for approximately 20 years.

Robert McCaffrey—professor of digital media technology

rob_blackProfessor Rob McCaffrey is using the Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications endowment to purchase integrated media touchscreens to assist students who want to use the technology to write journalistic stories and produce video content in support…and then have a medium through which to produce it.

The Digital Media program has been working with colleagues in Communications on ways to update the classes in which our students produce periodic articles on current events (formerly ‛College Newspaper’). In spring, 2015, we began a special topics course called ‛Integrated Media Production,’ in which the students are required to write journalistic stories and produce photos, audio and videos to help support the written articles.

“I will use this endowed chair to purchase interactive touch screen monitors that could be placed on stands around campus to display this journalistic work. The ultimate goal would be to eventually have a permanent outlet for the writing and media created by students, as well as strengthen the campus community by creating a reliable source of local news,” says Professor McCaffrey.

As part of this project, Professor McCaffrey will also work to fully understand the workflow for producing content for interactive touchscreens.

The money from the chair would be used to purchase one or more large-format, interactive monitors, such as would pinapple_shootallow viewers to call up specific content, turn audio on or off, or interact with content like 3D digital maps or simple games. These monitors could be mounted for temporary display on stands, or (working first with OIT, plant operations, marketing and the campus president’s office) could be permanently mounted around campus. The screens would be used to loop current student articles and media projects. Content would originally be created by students in digital media classes, but the intent would be to eventually have content from any applicable communications or media production course added to the screens.

His goal will be to have the screens in place around campus by end of summer 2016, and at least 30 minutes of high-quality, student-produced, topical content installed on the monitors. “I’ll assess the success of the learning by the quality of the writing and media I’m able to get students to produce, and by whether the faculty, staff and students in my program area have learned how to produce effective content for touchscreens.”

He adds, “I teach in a media production area and have used social media sites for years to display student content. It’s useful to inspire students by showing off their work on a world-wide platform like

YouTube, but those platforms must be sought out, and often students don’t get to see how their work is received by the people around them. By having a local outlet for student-produced projects on campus, it’s my hope that students will be further inspired and pushed to do even higher-quality work, knowing that what they produce might be shown on-campus and that they might become personally known for what they are producing.”  One of their outlets currently is a blog.

Professor McCaffrey is the program director for Digital Media (for the past seven years or so), and last year taught a pilot class of Integrated Media Production—a mixture of College Newspaper and media production classes. Courses met synchronously on East and West Campuses and communicated with each other using Google Hangouts for real-time video conferencing and Trello boards for online organization of story pitches, research, writing and publication.

He teaches primarily at the east campus and is the faculty advisor for interns in the digital media program.

 

 

Steve Cunningham, professor of EAP

SteveCunninghamPictureThe professor of English as a Second Language for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus is using his Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality to bring in a visiting Brazilian artist: Clovis Junior.

The artist is well-known in Brazil for his outstanding use of vivid colors, painting scenes that depict Brazilian folk heroes, and for the use of the cashew fruit in his paintings. The cashew tree is native to the northeastern region of Brazil where the artist lives.  It is a large spreading tree that is rapidly losing its habitat to development.  Clovis strives to raise awareness of this issue by including a depiction of the cashew fruit in each of his works.

“I feel strongly that bringing art into a community improves the quality of life,” says Professor Cunningham.clovis

This project will accomplish this in three ways:

  1. Clovis will exhibit his paintings on both the Osceola and West Campuses during the week of February 22-26, 2016.  The exact dates and locations are yet to be determined.
  2. Clovis will give an art class at Central Avenue Elementary School. During this class, the elementary school students will work with the artist to complete their own painting. Both Clovis and the student will sign their paintings. In addition to having a healthy dose of creativity during the class, the students will also be exposed to Brazilian culture and learn a few phrases in Portuguese.
  3. Clovis will leave one of his paintings for the Valencia Foundation to be auctioned at the next Taste for Learning.  The proceeds of the sale will go to student scholarships.

clovis-junior-540x432As well, “the artist will interact with our partners in the Brazilian community, and students in Valencia’s art, humanities, and foreign language programs, who will act as local guides and volunteer translators,” adds Cunningham.

This year, Professor Cunningham completed his 15th year at Valencia College as a full-time professor of EAP.  He received tenure in 2003.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Paper Engineering at Western Michigan University and his master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at Michigan State University.  He has also taken classes at the University of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia.  More recently, he has studied the Portuguese language at PUC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and at UFOP in Ouro Preto, Brazil.

Professor Cunningham teaches at the Osceola campus.

Steve Myers–professor of biology

 

Steve Myers with...a cobra.

Steve Myers with…a cobra.

The title of this piece almost ended up “Steve Myers, professor of biology and world traveler extraordinaire.” He’s been to India, Guyana…

Steve Myers is using his Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies to explore South Asia with an eye toward learning more about its biodiversity. “South Asia” he says, “is a biodiverse area with a large human population. The Western Ghats of India is a well-known ecological hot spot, home to eighty-four amphibian species, sixteen bird species, seven mammals,” and 1,600 flowering plant species, all of which are unique to the area, and found nowhere else on earth.

Let that sink in for a moment. All of these species are unique to this area.

“The conservation and preservation of this unique area is of global importance. Students would benefit from observing conservation efforts used by researchers at the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS) in a field biology setting. They would have the opportunity to explore and understand the hurdles of conservation in a developing country, how those differ from regulations in the states and abroad, and what effect such governance has on the ability to sustain and preserve these endemic species.”

During his next study abroad project, Myers hopes to research policies and procedures used for preservation and

Steve Myers helps students...with a crocodile? No danger here...

Steve Myers helps students…with a crocodile.

proliferation in India, and with help from his traveling students, compare them with those of the developed world, “and explore how sharing and adapting these ideas may serve to help us all, globally.” He continues, “being that global sustainability is at the forefront of our environmental concerns, I feel it is important to explore cross cultural differences between our conservation practices and those of the western world with those of the developing world.”

His project is planned for March 3–15, 2016 in Chennai, India.

In the past, his travels have taken him to other parts of India, Guyana and Venezuela. His students have gone on to work in the field of conservation and field biology.  He has also several students go on to participate in various research programs, internships and apprenticeship programs at colleges throughout the US and abroad.

“My hope is to inspire students to think about the world around them, how our actions affect nature, and what steps we can take to preserve the environments around us,” says Myers.

Professor Myers teaches at the East campus.

 

Laura Sessions–professor of chemistry

Our latest in our series about endowed chairs at Valencia this year.

 

“HoDr. Laura Sessionsw can we prepare students for the challenges of STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) careers?” This is the question Professor Laura Sessions asked while creating “meaningful internship experiences” at the Lake Nona campus with her Lockheed Martin Chair in Science this year.

She adds “I am currently interested in improving the learning experience for students in the science laboratory. The Lockheed Martin Chair in Science 2015-16 has allowed me to investigate best practices for training students in research skills and to create an internship program for a first cohort of five students in spring 2016.”

The intent of this program is to help students better understand the process of science, and the mindset and skills required to do research. Students will receive training in key laboratory skills through interaction with faculty members, through the use of tutorials, and, ultimately, by addressing a research question. Students with these skill sets are more likely to find internships in research labs.

Students will be able to attend the Florida Academy of Sciences Conference on March 19-21, 2016 at the University of South Florida, thanks to funding from the Lockheed Martin Chair in Science from the Valencia Foundation.

 

“One student, Shannon Finner, has already been working in the laboratory with me this fall. She is optimizing

Dr. Sessions and Assistantship Student Shannon Finner Discuss an Infrared Spectrum in the Lake Nona Chemistry laboratory, fall 2015.

Dr. Sessions and Assistantship Student Shannon Finner Discuss an Infrared Spectrum in the Lake Nona Chemistry laboratory, fall 2015.

the recrystallization solvent for purifying a Diels-Alder adduct that students make in the Organic Chemistry 1 class at Lake Nona’s campus.”

Dr. Sessions adds, “In the long term, I hope to create a sustainable program for scientific inquiry by students at the Lake Nona campus. I would like to create an interdisciplinary team, bringing together students and faculty from chemistry, biology, and our new biotech program, so that students can experience authentic scientific research and leave Valencia with real world skills.”

Dr. Sessions is professor of chemistry at the Lake Nona campus.  She was born and raised in Winter Park,and attended the University of Florida, obtaining a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in French. Dr. Sessions then attended Dartmouth College, where she studied organic polymer synthesis and nanoparticles. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Sessions was very happy to move back to warm, sunny Florida. She taught as an adjunct at Palm Beach Community College (now Palm Beach State College) for three years while performing various duties for the South Florida Science Museum including science educator, grant writer, and, eventually, education director. Dr. Sessions joined the full-time faculty at Valencia College in 2010 and successfully completed the tenure track in 2014.

Dr. Sessions is married to Dr. Hampton Sessions, also a chemist, who studies medicinal chemistry at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Lake Nona.  They have two adorable children: Evelyn, aged 5 and Henry, aged 3.

 

 

Brian Macon—professor of mathematics

Brian3

Brian Macon is a community-minded professor of mathematics. He plans to use his Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics endowment to build a student community for those students interested in STEM careers. “At a non-residential college like Valencia, there is a strong need to create a sense of belonging and help students with shared interests connect and network outside the classroom,” says Professor Macon.

What he wants to do is to build a community of students interested in STEM fields and to spark an interest in creating campus-based activities long-term after this project is complete, and to build connections to local leaders in STEM fields and gain their support for Valencia’s students.

Ideally, he says, “we’ll invite guest speakers from within our community to visit the campus. Speaker events will help like-minded students meet each other and local industry leaders. Speakers will become more interested in Valencia students, which could lead to possible internships or other opportunities.” Also under consideration, “a ‘math/science problem of the month’ program, where students can earn points for prizes from the bookstore.” The problem-of-the-month will be available for all students, disseminated to students through faculty and student development announcement boards.

His goal, then, is to create a sense of community among students interested in STEM fields through a variety of activities (guest speakers, forming of clubs, problem of the month) intended to create connections between students, faculty and local leaders in current STEM related jobs.Brian1

Professor Macon teaches mathematics at the Lake Nona campus. Many students walk in to his class with a negative attitude about mathematics at the beginning of the semester and he loves the challenge of helping students gain an appreciation of the subject.  He has been teaching full time at Valencia for 15 years, and “I can’t imagine doing anything else other than interacting with students and sharing my passion for math and its applications. This is the fifth time I have been honored with an endowed chair project, and I appreciate the opportunity the Foundation and its donors provide for faculty.”

Diane Dalrymple–librarian: testing the test

ALA Prof Photo 1Diane Dalrymple, Librarian, east campus, is using this year’s Freeda Foreman Chair in Collaborative and Creative Problem Solving to solve a problem of an unusual sort: to explore the question of whether a standardized test, Project SAILS (Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills), will work to gauge the literacy skills of Valencia students.

The test is planned for spring, 2016, and at that time, she will administer the test in collaboration with the East Campus English faculty.

The goal is to find a test that will analyze critical thinking information literacy skills by testing eight skills sets based on standards created by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

 “My personal learning outcome is to evaluate the potential application of Project SAILS (a summative information literacy assessment tool designed to analyze students’ abilities to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information from diverse sources) to measure Valencia student’s information literacy skills,” says Ms. Dalrymple.

 The goal of this project is to find and implement an effective method of testing students for their oDalrymple Portrait (1)perational information literacy (IL) skills as required by general education outcomes. Project SAILS tests for eight information literacy (IL) skill sets developed from the Association of College and Research Libraries Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. SAILS will provide Valencia’s cohort group IL knowledge level results on skill set scores, score by majors and class standing. SAILS will also compare Valencia’s average cohort scores to scores of similar types of institutions to Valencia. Scores from all institutions that tested in the same time period are used to create a benchmark file. Valencia’s average cohort scores will finally be compared to the benchmark scores.

 “For the past four years, as an Assessment Planning Team Leader for the library, my primary focus has b
een on developing appropriate tools for IL program level assessment. Students must learn how to analyze information with respect to its legitimacy and applicability. They need to become adept at discovering appropriate information sources, evaluating the information, and crediting its source.” All very important skills as more information is available, and with the increasing accessibility of online sources, many of which may or may not be, of useful provenance.

“The ability to choose and use information correctly is more than just a crucial academic skill. It is part of Valencia’s vision to inspire individuals to excellence and to instill an innate expertise for problem solving.”

 

Kenneth Bourgoin–culinary instructor

 

“OneBourdoin of the many gifts that I have been blessed with, is that I am passionate about my subject!” Kenneth Bourgoin waxes poetic on said subject: which, of course, is learning about food. “I am also keenly aware that food has created a genre of great businesses which provide jobs to many people, especially in this area,” he continues.

His vision is that students see beyond just working for somebody. To dream that they, too, can own and run a food operation no matter what it is, big or small. That they can be the ones hiring and being a bigger part of growing the community.

This year in Chicago (May, 2016), he hopes to use the Hunton Brady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management to bring the experience of food to three students by attending with them, the National Restaurant Association Food Show in Chicago. “The students who are awarded this scholarship will be able to demonstrate this process because of the articulation in the learning outcomes and assessments.” In large part the food show gives them that peripeteia—or a reversal of fortune—moment. He wants to share with them moments like this one:

“When we went to Italy this past spring, the food was amazing.  They have a product in Italy called ‘Lardo.’ It is literally herbed, cured fat back they use as a kind of thinly sliced wrap around lean meats. In a wBourdoin in classord, ‘magnificent!’ My first love (in cuisine) was a fettuccine alfredo with a garlic tomato Provençale.”

Mr. Bourgoin shares with his students a love of good food that moves beyond the laboratory. He continues, “We did a field trip out to Edgewood Children’s Ranch with a Quantity three class.  The cantaloupe straight off the vine was dripping with sweetness.  They had hydroponics, potted strawberries and field vegetables and fruits. We also did a luncheon in the summer using their produce in class. Our new local favorite farmer’s market is out in Winter Garden, the Plant Street Market downtown.” Edgewood Children’s Ranch “was amazing.” He holds them up as an example of great work in bringing the “locavore” (someone who likes
to eat local, seasonal food) movement to the children there.

He admits that his favorite dish to make is barbecue: either St. Louis style ribs or Texas style brisket: because they “come out so good, and the styles can be used in other types of cooking.” At home, “I grow sweet potatoes. I am amazed the colors of the potato depending on the ground they grow.”

Part of his expected outcomes is the opportunity to share with students advances in technology (3-D edible menus, anyone? Too exotic? How about advances in credit card technology?)

Bourgoin was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, and studied at Hooksett, New Hampshire at Southern New Hampshire University. He teaches at the west campus. After decades in the industry, he wants to enhance what he already knows with the business and horticulture sides of food, as well as improving students’ opportunities.

 

 

Karen Cowden, professor of reading/EAP

Karen CC7E88DD3-E859-4DB4-BF52-A1F5DDA7DDAFowden is a professor of reading whose William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs is directed at “How to Build a Premier Learning Culture for Special Needs Students of the Orlando Community.”

The endowed chair will provide funds for Professor Cowden to research and visit special needs institutions/college(s) and capitalize on her expertise by focusing on the educational environment which best provides access and opportunities for special needs students and provides an inclusive learning culture.

In addition, this summer, Professor Cowden attended the A.H.E.A.D. (Association on Higher Education and Disability) National Conference.

The sessions included topics such as “How Disability Rights are Actually Civil Rights,” “Ways to Engage the Entire College Community in Serving Special Needs Students,” “Helping Faculty Learn How to Make Materials Accessible,” and more.

“Over the three days in July in the beautiful city of St. Paul, Minnesota, I truly did learn the diverse perspectives of serving students with special needs, and was surprisingly one of only two faculty members engaging in the conference experience.  Being able to attend this conference not only showed me that we have a long way to go in building bridges between our faculty and special needs support teams, nation-wide, but also that I am encouraged with our work thus far at Valencia College in creating a visionary college experience for the future,” says Professor Cowden.

“I believe if we can learn from other institutions (and other sources) how building a suitable learning structure to serve special needs students at the community college level that is comparable as is afforded at a private, special needs institutions, Valencia College will have provided the Orlando community and the students’ quality learning opportunities.”

The work of Professor Cowden’s endowed chair goes well beyond her delivery of engaging faculty trainings through2D236EE6-A2C6-4689-8F72-C148DD3EF387 the “1-2-3 Captioning is Easy” or “Hands-On Accessibility” courses (in partnership with Stephanie Crosby, Assistant Director of Special Needs Services and Chris Cuevas, Technical Support Specialist with Special Needs Services).  She has partnered with Deborah Larew, Director of the O.S.D., to serve on the newly-formed “Accessibility Advisory Committee,” a college-wide gathering of stakeholders from various roles in the college that are interested in enhancing and expanding the services to special needs students/staff.

Additionally, she has partnered with Dr. Falecia Williams and the “Learning Day” planning team to use some of the endowed chair funds for an honorarium, which would be awarded to the keynote speaker focusing on disability rights and engaging the community collaboration that the college provides for all citizens at this year’s west campus “Learning Day.” As always, Karen continues to promote cross-discipline collaboration and hospitality by organizing a “Lunch and Learn with the Office of Students with Disabilities (O.S.D.)” in the fall term and a “Dinner and Learn with the Office of Students with Disabilities” in the spring term, which brings together all staff/faculty and the staff from the O.S.D. for a meal and active learning experience that covers current trends and topics in special needs services.

Professor Cowden earned her master’s degree in elementary education at UCF with a specialty in reading and her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in journalism and public relations at Florida State. She teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages, College Preparatory Reading, “1-2-3 Captioning is Easy,” “Hands-On Accessibility,” “Facilitating Online Learning,” and “Teaching in Our Learning College” at the West Campus.

“We really value the faculty collaboration from Professor Cowden and the endowed chair grant. She has understood and furthered O.S.D. goals far beyond what we could have done without this faculty champion. In particular I’d like to mention that she has taken her outcomes further than Special Needs. She has applied what she has garnered from this experience into best teaching practices for the diverse student body. She clearly delights in sharing this ah-ha moment with other faculty members. This is not about disability for Karen; it is about accessibility for all students,” says Dr. Larew.

 

Colin Archibald, professor of computer programming

ColinArchibaldYou’ve heard about it, maybe even work with it. But what IS Big Data, and how is it useful?

Colin Archibald, professor of computer programming, is using his University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology to investigate using Big Data to possibly create a course in Big Data.

“’Big Data’ is a new form of data processing that allows us to see trends and correlations in very large sets of data.  Some are calling this new research area ‘Data Science.’  The volume and lack of structure of Big Data prevents the use of traditional software development tools.  New methods of applying statistical processes on large data sets are emerging as a discipline within computing.   There is a shortage of talent in this area, and companies are limited by this,” according to Professor Archibald.

Data comes from almost everything we do now.  How frequently do you change the channel before you decide to watch a particular TV show?  There is a company trying to learn something from that data right now.  Your location, and movements as monitored by the smart phone in your pocket, are somehow valuable to some business, even if it’s only to present a more appropriate advertisement to you while you’re on Facebook.  Although there is room for nefarious uses of big data, most of it is business trying to find correlations that impact their bottom line.  Some will be very small, and might not be too meaningful.

Did you know that all the grocery stores run out of Poptarts when a hurricane is in the forecast?  Correlations and IntelAndroidcausations are very different.  It is not likely that a hurricane will come because the stores run out of Poptarts.  Although that one is easy to identify the ‘cause’ in the correlation, it’s frequently not obvious.  Many health-related studies, especially with the result “you should shouldn’t eat XYZ” are now considered to have been wrong and are referred to as “correlation” studies.  New methods in processing larger and more complex data sets may have widespread implications, not only in business, but for our well-being.

The endowed chairs are proposing to investigate the addition of Big Data Programming to the AS Computer Programming and Analysis curriculum at Valencia within the next two years (currently planned as a special topics course in the fall of 2016). If this is viewed as valuable to the curriculum, it will be added as a permanent course in the AS Computer Programming.

To facilitate that, they’re planning on Dr. Archibald and Professor Jerry Reed attending some short courses to study the techniques and programming languages used specifically for Big Data.

 

 

Mayra Holzer, professor of communications

 

ProfeHolzer_Mayra_Biossor Holzer plans to spend most of March, 2016, using her Rhymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications to obtain training in cross cultural communication as part of her sabbatical work in Argentina.

She will get training from Iceberg Inteligencia Cultural (an international organization that promotes multicultural understanding and global competency for effective intercultural communication) with the goal of internationalizing her SPC1017 course to be included in Valencia’s Global Distinction Curriculum and to better serve Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative.

Her goal is to improve her global citizen competency by further developing her knowledge, attitudes and skills of multicultural contexts and cross-cultural communication.

“By increasing my skills in cross-cultural communication, I will be better equipped to serve Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative, which aims to ‘nurture an inclusive, caring and respectful environment on campus and within our community’.”

In addition, she plans to internationalize her curriculum for SPC1017 (Interpersonal Communication), with a strong emphasis on the impact of culture on communication styles, and to offer her course as part of Valencia’s Global Distinction Curriculum and to propose a faculty development course related to inclusion and diversity.

“Training in cross cultural communication will better enable me to effectively internationalize my curriculum with great emphasis on communication styles across diverse contexts. Internationalizing my existing Interpersonal Communication Course (SPC1017) will allow me to increase students’ global competencies: appreciate the diversity of cultures, articulate self-awareness from a cultural perspective, understand impact of cultural dimensions on communication with others and develop interpersonal communication skills in a variety of cultural contexts. Also, I will engage students in Peace and Justice co-curricular opportunities on campus to help them develop communication skills to engage in civil discourse.”Holzer field pic

The two-week conference Professor Holzer will be attending takes place in March, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Professor Holzer was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s degree in communication and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from UCF. She’s been married for 19 years.

Professor Holzer teaches at the West Campus.

 

 

 

 

 

Yasmeen Qadri, professor in the teacher education program

This is another in our series of posts on this year’s endowed chairs.

 

Dr. YasQadrimeen Qadri is a tenured professor in the teacher education program at Valencia College. She specializes in multicultural education, peace education, conflict resolution, and diversity. With her partner, Anna Saintil, professor of student life skills, Qadri plans to use their Dr. P Phillips Foundation Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged Award to adopt the TeachLive Lab along with 43 other campuses, including the College of Education and Human Performance at UCF.

“Most of the future teachers may well serve in high tech, richly diverse, and creative classrooms at the future Creative Village in Downtown, Orlando, or may be in any of our nation’s digital schools,” says Qadri. “The endowed chair will enable our teacher education program to focus on advancement in technology, build pathways to exceptional and early childhood education, and strengthen our partnerships with the community.”  Digital schools (Colonial High School), special needs schools (UCP of Central Florida), richly diverse schools (Lawton Chiles Elementary), and early childhood providers (Horizons Child Care & Learning Center), have opened many doors of opportunities to the futur
e educators. “Not only are our students learning the best teaching practices in the above schools, but they are also contributing hundreds of service learning hours in these schools,” adds Qadri.

Additional goals include developing a 1-credit course in Exceptional Education (required by new certification rules) and increasing enrollment in Valencia’s new Early Childhood Education program, Special Needs program, and they hope to collaborate with the future Sign Language Bachelors and Deaf Education Program.

Professor Qadri teaches at the East Campus.

 

Melissa Schrieber, professor of biology

IMG_7222

Another post in our series on endowed chairs. 

Melissa Schreiber, professor of biology, is using her Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health & Life Science for a trip to Europe…with a group of students to study infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology.

Students will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, and Paris, France, spending time at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum to understand their international humanitarian efforts. A visit to the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva will provide the students an opportunity to learn about international public health within the United Nations (UN) system.

Students will attend a lecture at a local university in Geneva and Paris to learn about public health and epidemiology. At the Ministry of Health in Paris, students will listen to a lecture by a health advisor on promoting and protecting the health of all individuals living in France. In Paris, students will get to interact with patients and the nursing staff at the modern Parisian hospital or the Hospital St-Louis to learn about the importance of health education.

“You can learn about health-related topics in a textbook, but to really understand the impact on public health it is better to travel to an area where the topics are studied and researched. I will combine lectures, discussions, and onsite visits in Geneva and Paris to emphasize the basic concepts of microbiology, infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology.”

In Geneva, one will find the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO), which directs international public health authority with the United Nations (UN) system. The WHO was established on April 7, 1948, and 61 countries have signed their constitution.

The WHO played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria and tuberculosis; the effects of non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health, development, and aging; nutrition, food security and healthy eating; occupational health, and substance abuse. They have developed protocols on reporting, publishing, and networking within the health sector.

“I teach allied health Microbiology courses every semester and I would like to add more information to my lectures when I discuss the topics,” says professor Schreiber. “I want to be able to provide real life application of the material besides what is printed in the textbook.” Her goal is also to share what the students learn in Geneva and Paris about public health and epidemiology with her future students by incorporating their multimedia presentations in her lectures. The dates planned for the trip are April 29, 2016 to May 7, 2016.

Professor Schreiber received tenure in March, 2011. She teaches at the east campus.

 

Craig Rapp, professor of hospitality and tourism management

Another in our series of blog posts on endowed chairs

craig-rapp11 Final CropCraig Rapp, professor of hospitality and tourism management, loves to hang out with students. So much so, that his Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Service Management grant this year is going to taking them to the 2016 National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

The show, held in May, will give students a taste of the “real world” of restaurant management, in preparation for their future careers. He says, “[the NRA] annual international trade show … is one of the largest and most impactful hospitality shows in the world; one that anyone entering the hospitality field can benefit from.” He continues, “for many, this will be the first time students are able to connect classroom learning to the industry.”

In addition to the students’ learning, traveling to Chicago will allow Professor Rapp to learn about the latest industry trends and technology, and meet and network with some of the world’s most influential hospitality industry leaders in the world. This, in addition to break-out sessions and workshops that will help him to plan curriculum and enhance the classroom experience once he returns to Valencia. He’ll be able to witness culinary competitions amongst some of the top chefs in the world, tour some of the finest hotels, and experience some of the best restaurants that Chicago has to offer.

In addition, he plans to have the students traveling with him report on their involvement (two, 250-word essays on Maitland 2015 3the break-out sessions they attend). The experience will also help students begin to practice their own professional development by learning about the latest industry trends and technology, and meet and network with some of the world’s most influential hospitality industry leaders in the world.

 “The trip to the Chicago restaurant Show is a great benefit to students of hospitality here at Valencia College and it opens many doors,” he says.

Professor Rapp has been with Valencia College since 2008, teaching classes such as Introduction to Hospitality Management, Supervisory Development, Hospitality Management and Food & Beverage Cost Control. Born in Edison, New Jersey, he moved to Florida in 1996 to attend Florida International University’s School of Hospitality Management. It was there that he completed his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and a master of science in hotel and food service management.

He is married to Jessica Rapp, and they have three children: Zachary, Lillian, and Madelyn.

He teaches at the West Campus.

 

 

William/Doris Paisley Memorial Music Scholarship

The William a2015-10-22 18.22.33nd Doris Paisley Memorial Music scholarship was established in 2012 with its first two scholarships awarded in October of 2013. Since then, it has funded three other scholarships—the most recent two awarded last week.

The scholarship exists to honor the contribution of Doris Paisley, a concert mistress violinist for years with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. She was also the violin teacher for Valencia professor Neal Phillips; Mrs. Paisley took Neal in as her youngest student ever at age 6, and he studied with her for 14 years.

When Mrs. Paisley passed away in 2012, Neal wanted to honor his teacher, and with the help of Donna Marino and Geraldine Gallagher via the Valencia Foundation, he was able to establish the music scholarship. Professor Phillips funds the award through the Valencia Foundation at a goal of $1,000. As the award is given annually, notice is given to music students in September; students are eligible to apply if they are declared Music or Music Education majors and plan to pursue the degree at a four-year university upon graduation from Valencia. As part of the application, students must detail their histories of musical experiences, write an essay explaining how the scholarship would benefit them, and submit a 10-minute video of a solo performance on their primary instruments. Additionally, students must have a 2.0 GPA.

After the application period ends, the scholarship committee selects a winner, and fortunately, there has been enough scholarship money available for two winners in 2013 and also 2015. The five winners have received a total of $5,000 over the past three years. In more than one case, this has allowed a prospective music major to continue with schooling he/she may have had to postpone due to lack of funds.

Professor Phillips’ goal is to continue to fund the award as long as he works at Valencia and even after, so music students will be benefiting from this for many years to come. The scholarship is awarded as part of the Instrumental Music Scholarship, with Professor Phillips’ contributions made in honor of William and Doris Paisley.

This year’s scholarship winners are first, Vedda Kangalova, an international student from Bulgaria who specializes in violin. The picture (above) is of her tutoring Stenstrom Elementary (Oviedo) students with Valencia’s 3D printed electric violin, first of its kind.

The second winner is Khalid James, originally from the Caribbean, who specializes in both trombone and steel pan drum.

Khalid James

 

 

Elizabeth Wanielista, professor of office and medical office administration

Next in our series about the endowed chair projects.

ElizaBetty head shotbeth (Betty) Wanielista is a professor in the department of office and medical office administration at the East Campus. As we all know, medical office administration is a field that is—even more than most—changing rapidly.

Professor Wanielista is using her grant from the John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business to upgrade the medical office administration program at Valencia. She says, “The medical office is rapidly changing. Electronic health records, ICD-10 coding and scribes are being added to the medical environment.” ICD-10 coding is used by medical professionals to receive reimbursement for services rendered. Scribes accompany doctors and input the doctor’s findings into a tablet/computer to be transcribed and placed in the patient’s medical records.

As a result, Professor Wanielista has identified the medical office administration program as an area that needs to be reviewed for potential new courses. “I plan to visit and interview individuals in medical facilities to find out what new technology and duties have been added for a medical employee.”

To that end, she also planned to attend a conference in October and visit medical facilities.

“Over the course of this evaluation, I’ll also obtain information on what software and hardware are used by medical employees. I’ll investigate duties of medical employees at the front desk and in the back office.”

Professor Wanielista will secure information on use of transcriptionists in medical offices and investigate soft skills needed by medical employees. She will also acquire knowledge of the use of electronic health record software—a huge issue as both the population ages and the use of computers becomes more widespread.

The outcome of her exploration will be the presentation of potential curriculum to the OST Advisory Board for review and comment. (The OST Advisory Board is the Office Systems Technology Advisory Board, which meets twice a year to keep Valencia faculty abreast of the needs of the outside world and informs Valencia faculty of the technology used and the skills needed in future employees.)

The development of curriculum materials for the medical office administration program to be presented to the OST faculty and the curriculum committee.

Professor Wanielista adds “students will benefit from the updated medical office administration program by entering the workforce with knowledge of current software, hardware and useful skills that are relevant to what the employer is seeking.” In other words, the result of her project will be students who are better prepared for the “real world” they’ll face.

Professor Wanielista has been with Valencia since 1994.

Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa, chair, department of dance

ssalapa-1354396170_140 (1)The latest in our series on endowed chairs.

For her endowed chair project this year, Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa is using her Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment grant to invite the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance residency.

She explains: “Each year for our Spring Dance Concert, we bring in a choreographer/reconstructor for a week- to 10-day residency to teach a piece that is performed at the Spring Concert.

“This is a tremendous honor for the dance program and Valencia, as we count it an honor to work with some of the biggest names in the concert dance profession: Isadora Dance Ensemble; Martha Graham Dance Company; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Jose Limon/Limon Dance Company; Shapiro and Smith Dance and others. The opportunity gives our dancers, who are pursuing an associate’s degree in dance performance, real life experience and a direct connection to the professional world while they are in school.”

This year, the reconstructor is Alberto del Saz, and the piece is the critically acclaimed “The Pond.”

The renowned artists of the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance Residency will come to Valencia in January 2016. Classes and rehearsals will introduce both dancers and faculty to the ispring dance concertnnovative and diverse choreographic approach unique to Alwin Nikolais/Murray Louis’ versatile and well-respected repertory.

Valencia College’s arts in dance performance degree majors will locally debut “The Pond” at the 2016 Valencia Dance Spring Dance Concert, Friday and Saturday, at 8 p.m. March 25 and 26, in the East Campus Performing Arts Center, 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida 32825. Tickets are available at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts (Click the icon on the top right that says, “BUY TICKETS”).

_MG_3102Dr. Salapa has had a varied career with such organizations as the Annandale (Virginia) Dance Theater, the Washington Ballet, Maryland Youth Ballet and Columbia City Ballet. She received her bachelor of science degree from Shenandoah University and completed her master of fine arts in dance degree from Florida State University. She earned her doctoral degree in education at the University of Central Florida. In the summer of 2014, Dr. Salapa participated in the internationally recognized program Dance for Parkinson’s Disease®.  A collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group has designed this dance teacher training model to encourage creativity and movement exploration for those with Parkinson’s disease. Professor Salapa also teaches the bi-monthly Movement as Medicine dance class at Florida Hospital Orlando.

James Inglis, program director hospitality/restaurant management: taking a trip of a lifetime

jim-inglis22 (1)

Another post in our series on endowed chairs and what they’re up to. Meet James Inglis.

James Inglis’ endowed chair project this year, funded by the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA) Chair in Hospitality Management, is to take 16 students to New York City to The Hotel Experience in November (previously The International Hotel Motel Restaurant Show).

“The [Hotel Experience] in New York City is one of the premier industry events in the United States. Over 1,800 vendors are there with their individual booths showcasing the latest industry technologies, products and services. We also do restaurant and hotel tours while we are there and attend breakout sessions in conjunction with the show. These are very educational, and the students can sign up to attend any of the topics that interest them,” Inglis says.

“The students are required to attend at least one breakout session while at the show; they then write a paper on the session and include a brief overview of the topic and specific issues discussed,” he adds. The students are also required to write an additional reflection for the Student Government Association (SGA) as part of the travel requirements. Students also speak to their classes when they return, highlighting various events that took place and any observations that relate to the learning outcomes for the course.

Professor Inglis has been leading similar trips for more than 14 years now. Many of the students have very limited travel experience and most have never been to NYC before. For the most part, the students couldn’t afford the room rates or partake of the restaurant meals Inglis and his team have negotiated. “There is always a tour of a hotel and kitchen and introduction of managers and kitchen personnel,” Inglis adds. So even the food is educational.

In all, for many of these students, the trip is a once in a lifetime – or a first in a lifetime – chance to be exposed to experiences they can’t have in Orlando (as great as those may be).

This is in addition to the other work that Inglis does.

He is on two boards of directors: One is the local hotel association, CFHLA, and the other is the local restaurant association, FRLA. He has been on the boards for more than 14 years, participating in such events as the Downtown Food and Wine Fest for the seventh year in a row. Last March, he and another professor, Craig Rapp, worked the Wine and Dine on 9, a VIP event, at the Bay Hill Golf Tournament.  As Inglis puts it: “This semester alone we are volunteering for 12 events in the community. It’s a tribute to the students and the leadership that we can get this type of participation.

Professor Inglis was born in New York City, so this is a bit of a return home for him – to the Jacob K. Javits Center, which is where the show is being held. He is the program director for the hospitality and restaurant management programs at Valencia’s West campus. With degrees from Paul Smith’s College in New York, Florida International University and Webster University, from which he holds a master’s degree in business, he draws on a lifetime of experience for his courses and his volunteer work.

What’s next for the program? Well, Inglis says the school has just hired a new faculty member to take the lead for the Osceola campus program—now they’re able to offer the same degree program in Osceola that they offer at West campus. In addition, they keep expanding the West campus program—they just added a new “beverage lab.”

Cheers to the new program and the trip of a lifetime for the students in his care.

Heith Hennel, professor of information technology: lightboards to light the way to the future

This is the second in our series introducing this year’s endowed chairs. 

This year’s winner of Valencia Foundation’s Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise wants to build heith-hennel09lightboards for his students: “I am really interested in seeing how technology can be leveraged to increase business efficiency and produce better products, as well as making our daily lives easier to manage.”

Great, you say. What’s a lightboard?

Professor Hennel explains, “Imagine an invisible board between you and your students. You teach facing your students. They see you and somehow everything you write hangs in the air, magically inverted so it is readable from their perspective. You can even project and interact with content on the invisible board between you.

“In information technology, there is more and more pressure to flip learning. The lightboard is the cutting edge tool teachers can use to produce flipped content. In fact, it is so new that it can’t even be bought in stores; it has to be built. Currently, only a handful of universities have it.”

Hennel’s view is that “Valencia should be a leader in bringing this technology to community colleges.” He’d like to create a lightboard challenge—similar to the “Ice Bucket challenge”—to challenge teachers in other disciplines to create cutting-edge, flipped content for their classrooms and students.

He intends to partner with Valencia’s Circles of Innovation team to spread the word about the technology and invite others to create flipped content via a lightboard challenge. “As teachers use the device and record their own flipped content, they will be able to openly challenge colleagues and friends at the college to use the tool to create their own flipped learning content. The Circles of Innovation team has indicated that they would like to feature this work on the Circle of Innovation Website and possibly even do a Circles of Innovation session around the topic.”

Rio Teachers

Professor Hennel, in Rio de Janeiro.

The entire goal here is to ensure that our current courses in Information Technology are kept up to date.

Hennel explains, “As more and more schools and programs move to online, hybrid and flipped content, we need to stay ahead of the curve. This tool will help provide teaching in a new way that will better engage today’s learners. But this tool doesn’t only benefit students in IT; the challenge will open up the technology to teachers across the college and across disciplines.”

An enthusiastic UK basketball fan, Professor Hennel was born in Lexington, KY. He served in the US Navy from 1994 to 1999. His master’s degree is from the University of Maryland, and he also holds two graduate certificates from the University of Illinois in systems security and information assurance. His wife, Teresa, was his high school sweetheart and he has two children, Sydney, 5, and McKenzie, 8.

“I am really interested in internationalizing the curriculum across disciplines to see how we can create a great global experience for our students. I am also really interested in providing students with a chance to experience another culture while studying abroad.  I will be taking students to London this year.  In past years, I have taken students to Barcelona, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janiero and the Dominican Republic.”

Professor Hennel has been teaching at Valencia since August 2003.

 

 

Endowed chairs at Valencia: Olga Vazquez, M.S., and the Health Academy

This is first in a series about the professors who recently were awarded endowed chairs at Valencia College.

Olga Vazquez

 

Olga Vazquez, professor of biology, spends a lot of her time hanging around fifth graders.

No, that’s not how she spends her free time, although with a 9-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl at home, one could be forgiven for thinking that was a possibility.

Actually, it’s a big part of her Valencia Foundation endowed chair project.

Armed with a bachelor of science, and a master’s in microbiology and molecular biology from UCF, Professor Vazquez heads up the Health Academy, an educational awareness program designed to supplement the fifth graders’ biology content. It includes learning about healthy lifestyles and gives students a chance to get excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers.

The project particulars include taking Valencia College student volunteers to mentor Lawton Chiles Elementary School children. Vazquez says she chose fifth graders, not only because she was following the guidelines of the Anatomy Academy at UCLA, but also because kids of that age are “mature enough to grasp the biology content behind the activities while being conscious enough to influence their families.”

Twitter screen shot of the opening of Health Academy

Twitter screen shot of the opening of Health Academy

 

The Valencia students teach the LCE students about making healthy food choices, and inspire them to consider STEM, allied health, or education careers. The elementary students will share their newfound knowledge with family and community members.

They’ll also develop anatomy and physiology hands-on activities.

Part of the hoped-for outcome is to use the experience to encourage education majors at Valencia to become STEM teachers “by training them in the fields of anatomy and physiology,” Vazquez says. In addition, they’ll learn how to work with youngsters.

The Health Academy mirrors the Anatomy Academy, which was founded by Jonathan Wisco at UCLA (now with Brigham Young University), she says. He developed the idea of teaching fifth graders nutrition and health.

Wisco’s work inspired Vazquez to reach out to her community and teach science at the same time. She expanded the original activities to call it Health Academy. This is the first such organization of its kind in Florida.

This is Vazquez’s second term with her project. She still keeps in touch with several of the mentors from last spring—three are interested in participating again. She plans to continue Health Academy for several more terms and to expand the project to additional elementary schools.

One memorable experience from last year includes a student who, after seeing the difference between smokers’ lungs and non-smoker’s lungs, was immediately encouraged his grandmother to stop smoking.

Prof. Vazquez is married to Rafael Vazquez and has two children in elementary and middle school. Her children have both attended Lawton Chiles. She has been teaching at Valencia since 2008.

The Health Academy